Thinking Anglicans

no longer a Christian nation?

Here is what Bishop Paul Richardson, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph:

Britain is no longer a Christian nation

…The church is being hit by a double whammy: on the one hand it confronts the challenge of institutional decline but on the other hand it has to face the rise of cultural and religious pluralism in Britain.

How it responds to the second challenge will be crucial in determining whether it will be able to survive as a viable organisation and make a contribution to national life.

At present church leaders show little signs of understanding the situation. They don’t understand the culture we now live in.

Many bishops prefer to turn their heads, to carry on as if nothing has changed, rather than face the reality that Britain is no longer a Christian nation.

Many of them think that we are still living in the 1950s – a period described by historians as representing a hey day for the established church…

On the other hand Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, diocesan Bishop of Lichfield, just said this:

“Occasional church attendees are not hypocrites” – bishop

…the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, accused ‘the metropolitan pundits in the broad sheets who constantly sneer at organized religion’ as being ‘out of touch with the deep spiritual desires of most people in our nation.’ And he said the demise of services such as Matins in favour of services of Holy Communion risked turning some churches into an ‘exclusive sect’…

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kieran crichton
kieran crichton
11 years ago

I don’t know quite what to make of Paul Richardson’s effort. He is known to Australians as the former Bishop of a certain country diocese who arrived protesting that he had already done his greatest work — in Papua New Guinea.

Bishop Gledhill makes a good point about the lack of non-Eucharistic worship. Funnily enough, the only place other than a cathedral where I’ve seen Matins recited publicly is All Saints Margaret St.

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

I’m sure that those benighted peoples whom, in past centuries, were conquered by the British, took comfort that it was a “Christian nation” putting them under the Crown.

{snark/Off}

Seriously, can’t these CofE bishops Get Lives? Y’know, or at least, the Gospel?!

The Revd Dr John Bunyan
The Revd Dr John Bunyan
11 years ago

I warmly welcome the Bishop’s words regarding Matins. Every week as an honorary hospital chaplain (before and since retirement) I meet large numbers of patients who identify as Anglican or C.of E.- still by far the second largest group of our patients even in a multi-ethnic area with a substantial number of Muslims. The great majority are not confirmed or communicants, but almost all welcome a visit from a chaplain of “their” Church. Yet too many of our parishes in Australia exclude them by providing nothing but the Holy Communion on Sunday mornings, turning our Church into a something of… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Rev L Roberts
11 years ago

Christian is as Christian does. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in these islands. Sorry to disappoint this bishop who has his own agenda, apparently. A ministry of condemnation and discouragment ? Now, whose ‘theological’ (diabolos?) agenda is that ?

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
11 years ago

I also am very fortunate to sing at a church that proudly and defiantly has sung matins every other Sunday. It was once commonplace in my low-church diocese, but trendiness and a well-veiled path promoted by the WCC have led the region, along with the denomination, towards greater uniformity (and not without merit, there is something good of course, to be said about the supremacy of Holy Communion as the principle service) of a worldly united liturgical service. Not a few Roman Catholic admirers have commented that we have not forgotten the ‘offices’.

Rev L Roberts
Rev L Roberts
11 years ago

We had MP every Sunday when I was a choirboy. We even intoned the Creed, and we were low church. I hardly ever hear the Creed intoned at MP or EP these days –not even on Radio 3 Choral Evensong. Such a shame. ‘…another service where those only loosely attached could feel at home.. And indeed the strongly attached could too, no such distinctions ere necessary. They are invidious to this day. The early service took place 8am every Sunday and was Said and very still and reverent. But most people did not come to church, and it was understood… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
11 years ago

“And people worked very hard on the land or in the factories near the city; and wasshing and cleaning and chores all ahd to be accomplsihed by hand — leaving little time and enrgy for nonessentials.” On Sundays? When I was a kid, in rural Newfoundland, I grant you not industrial England, Sunday was still the Sabbath. Even in the height of the summer fishery, what wasn’t split and salted by midnight Saturday went over the wharf. Even if it had rained all week, people would let their fish rot rather than spread it on a Sunday. We were a… Read more »

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